Culturalism · Economic History · Federal Government

The Cult of Conventionalism

I hope this will be the last (contemporary) political post made on the blog for a while. As much as the topic is compelling, one cannot escape the feeling of its overall vapidity. We observe representatives voting to object to an election in small numbers, knowing well in advance the act is mere grandstanding to avoid what harsh realities a corrupt system has foisted on the people. They “do their part,” even while the finishing glaze was conjured up weeks ago.

Strangely enough, there is a different kind of electoral moralization going on in D.C. and state capitols around the country: that of defending convention. Not long after the fury blew up on Capitol Hill, empowered libertarian representatives quickly rushed to “defend the Constitution” by joining with Democrats and ratifying the results of an obviously corrupt election. These are the same characters frantically warning about excess spending, surveillance, and endless wars, yet the critical moment is simply too trying for their sensibilities. So instead of taking a principled stand to favor what they believe, the route is one of guarding the system and status quo.

What makes this behavior especially confusing is the purveyors’ own knowledge that they are waging a losing battle by being good town watchmen over modern day malevolence. The reason spending does not come down is because the decision gets devolved across fifty different states, all with various projects and payoffs lined up for fulfillment. Wars are similarly driven by money, and continue to be pushed by the uniparty majority despite public opposition. Such programs are not going anywhere on the basis of libertarian idea-spreading, and certainly no Balanced Budget is forthcoming.

Keeping all that in mind, what exactly do these steady tradition enforcers get in exchange for their complicity? The simple enough answer is as follows: an opportunity to flaunt moral self-righteousness by being “right” because they warned folks in advance. If the rest of us had only listened to the libertarians and conservatives, somehow the cities wouldn’t be burning, racism would hardly matter, and decency might reign supreme. Now that all is ashes, we should turn and recognize our steady friends who wouldn’t allow the structure to collapse, not for all the ideological triumph in the world.

Perhaps an addendum here should speculate as to whether the system defenders cultivate a martyr complex in their minds to feel better about the collapse of convention. It would certainly jive well with the sacrificial themes of those Abrahamic religions they follow, in which the upright are cut down while preaching forgiveness and respect towards their enemies. Thus they can die (or devolve into the political deserts) knowing their honor was bright, and the other side is wrong or sinful.

Now let us pose one final query: should the more radical Rightists somehow seize power in the future, what shall the libertarians and conservatives do? Will they yet lament the collapse of the system, which holds the bulk of their spiritual wealth, or simply revert to becoming grifters aligned to that triumphant cause?    

Like Descartes, I leave the answer to my dreams.

Culturalism

Mitt Romney Has No Conscience

Much has been made of Willard Romney’s decision to vote for the “Abuse of Power” article in the Senate’s impeachment trial. Republicans are angry, while Hollywood leftists can’t stop praising Corporations are People for his brilliant move.

 As it turns out, the actual process remains less interesting than Romney’s justifications. In a speech beforehand and an interview with Fox News, Romney did the prototypical. He appealed to God, the Constitution, and his conscience.

Yet it’s highly doubtful that he has one. Let’s turn back time for a second. In 1994 and 2002, Romney staunchly defended the right to abortion, and then bounced back in 2006 as he prepared to run for president, now “firmly pro-life.”

In 2005, Romney vetoed emergency contraception for rape victims, only to cycle back and support access for all women in 2012.

Romney famously declared “Let Detroit go bankrupt,” but proceeded to defend the Wall Street bailout as a way to prevent an economic meltdown.

For all his love affairs with the Constitution, Romney endorsed waterboarding, denial of Miranda rights, and the Patriot Act. He also responded to a debate question on congressional military authorization by saying “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you watcha have to do”

As if that’s not enough, Romney has been on both sides of the Obamacare and immigration debates.

Then we have Romney’s famous “phony” speech, where he roundly attacked Donald Trump as a fraud. Of course he infamously proceeded to congratulate Trump on winning, and audition for Secretary of State.

But yes, he is a man with a conscience.